Ensure you and your crew have a safe boating holiday by following the following safety advice. This information is also available in the Skipper Manual on board your cruiser.
Life Jackets & Buoyancy Aids
On arrival each adult in you party will be provided with a self-inflating life jacket, children will be provided with orange buoyancy aids. It is your responsibility to make sure that these fit properly before you depart. Always wear your life jacket or buoyancy aid whilst on deck, mooring up or casting off no matter how competent a swimmer you may be.
Keep an eye on children at all times and make sure that they are safe on deck, or close to the waters’ edge.
All of our cruisers are fitted with a life ring usually located on the back of the boat. This must be kept ready for use at all times, make sure that everyone knows where it is. The life ring is there for your safety and is not a toy, it should only be used in an emergency.
In the event that you need to use the life ring make sure that the boat is stopped with the engine switched off. Throw the life ring near the person in the water, never the throw the life ring directly at the person in the water, life rings are heavy and may cause injury or concussion if they were to hit someone.
Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
All our cruisers are fitted with at least one carbon monoxide and smoke detector depending on the size of the cruiser.
Fire Blankets & Fire Extinguishers
All of our cruisers are fitted with fire blankets and fire extinguishers.
Stay Safe On Board
Getting Aboard and Ashore
Always wear your life jacket or buoyancy aid when getting aboard or ashore. Do not leap the gap between the quay and the boat, you could slip between the gap. Pull the boat closer with a mooring rope and carefully step on board or ashore.
Look out for hazards on waterside paths, banks, quays and remember the quay headings may be slippery if wet. Take special care after dark, always take a torch with you and leave a light on in the boat.
Do not use your hands, foot or legs to stop your boat from hitting the bank, a bridge or another boat, you could be seriously injured, always use a fender or boat hook. Do not use your feet to push off your boat inside a bridge.
Never jump off or between moving boats, you could be crushed if you slip or fall.
Make sure that everyone wears their life jacket or buoyancy aid whilst on deck. The walkways on deck are often narrow and can be slippery, wear shoes with a non-slip sole and always use the grab rails when moving about the deck, particularly when the boat is moving. Do not mop down decks when the boat is in motion and take particular care in winter conditions especially ice or snow.
Do not dangle your arms or legs overboard whether the boat is moving or not, you could be hurt.
When the boat is underway do not sit stand or lie on the boat roof, in the event of a collision you could be thrown over board and always ensure that everyone in below cabin-top level when passing under bridges.
All mooring ropes should be kept neatly coiled when not in use. Be careful not to stand on ropes when walking about on deck, as they can roll under your feet and throw you off balance. Take care also not to trap your fingers between the rope and the mooring post or ring. If using the boat hook from a moving craft take care as it is easy to be dragged over board.
Always stick to the speed limits and do not plan too long a journey in the time you have available. You are not permitted to cruise after dark so plan you journey so that you are moored at least one hour before sunset, do not cruise at night or in conditions of poor visibility.
Remember that your boat has no brakes to stop it, you have to put it in reverse and it takes much longer to stop, so always think ahead.
When manoeuvring your boat, take the water and weather conditions into account. When possible, always approach a mooring against the tide, current or wind.
Do not drink and drive, it is essential to keep your wits about you while you are on the water. The Broads Authority recommends that the helmsman does not drink until the boat is moored up for the night.
Watch out for small craft, it can be easy to overlook small boats sitting low in the water, particularly when they are near but obscured by your boats superstructure, or when you are looking towards a low sun.
If you have to perform a rescue always turn the boat towards the person in the water, never approach anyone in the water by reversing, as they could get caught in the boats propeller and be seriously injured.
Man Over Board
Make sure all members of your party are aware of the following procedure and rescue drill,
In the event that you fall into the water, please follow the instructions below to aid your rescue,
- Shout to ensure the rest of the crew knows you are in the water.
- Do not try to swim the shock of the fall can take your breath away, float on your back and regain control of your breathing, spread your arms to the side to help buoyancy.
- Be ready to grab any buoyant material close by, or anything thrown to you.
Whoever first spots the person in the water should shout to advise all on-board and indicate the location of the person in the water to the driver of the boat. If the distance is not too great, throw a life ring or other buoyant material near to the person. Never throw directly to the person as they could be hit and injured.
Whoever is driving the boat should immediately turn the boat towards the person, this takes the propeller away from the person in the water. The boat should then be manoeuvred a few yards away at dead slow. Once in position, stop the engine or take it out of gear. When you are near enough throw a life ring or rope, not at the person, but near enough for them to grab it.
Everyone engaged in the rescue should wear a buoyancy aid. Pull the person aboard preferably from the side, well away from the propeller. A looped rope is the best method as the person can slip this over their shoulders. It might be more practical to use a dinghy if one is available, in which case, recover the person over the back of the dinghy, not over the bows or the side.
Do not jump into the water yourself, unless the person in unconscious, or unable to help themselves and then only do so as a last resort when there are enough people left on the boat to ensure that you will be able to get out. Even then only one person should enter the water, wearing a buoyancy aid and secured to a rope held be another crew member.
After recovery, remove wet clothing, keep the person warm and supply a hot drink, if there are signs of injury call medical help. For emergency medical assistance dial 999 or for non-emergencies contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647.